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UN Women: Woman Trafficking

01 | 04 | 2022

As the world faces ongoing wars and terrible social and political crisis, the United Nation’s (UN) Women committee joined to discuss women trafficking and the situation of women in armed conflicts. The UN recognizes women’s problems as pertinent to discuss between its members. This is why countries around the world were called to stand up for their beliefs regarding women’s importance and their struggles within society, as key factors including culture, religion and conflict crisis rose up through the representatives of each country within the UN. 

Its main ideas revolved around topics such gender inequality, roles of countries in sex trafficking, how each country’s culture affects women (especially during a time of crisis and political instability), prostitution, as a cause for demand of sex trafficking, and forced migration. Were also discussed the importance of educating society to avoid situations of violence against women and universal access to health systems, as well as mental health care for women who have suffered armed conflict. Every point in the agenda reflected the preoccupation of most delegations in the committee regarding gender inequality and its roots. 

A joint coalition

Many delegations were interested in creating a joint coalition. The delegation of South Sudan explained during its opening statement the importance of Asian and African countries to unite so the defense of their problems amid their economic crisis and interior conflicts can be heard by other countries and major discussions can be held. World powers, such as the United States of America pronounced itself as a delegation that was deeply concerned with mass migration of women, proposing that is important to create awareness campaigns to educate about women who are victims of sex trafficking. However, the delegation highlighted over all the importance of data collection with the objective of being transparent when working with women who are migrants, refugees and victims of gender violence. 

Other countries’ delegations proposed the difference of culture between the Eastern and Western world: a main problem that became essential during the three days of dialogues. As a preliminary statement, the Afghanistan delegation proposed that it was not a discussion about whether it is important to change culture, but about resolving these problems without having to change it. Many other delegations proposed that culture was deeply rooted with religion and customs, which makes it a problem subjective enough for it not to be the main path to resolve women’s struggles.

Education and health

As a parallel discussion, the idea of education (both, towards women and girls, and society in general) was presented. The delegation of France proposed to finance education with the objective of creating a society free of victim violence, explaining that education may provide tools for women to denounce violence regardless of their culture. 

Health became a focal point of the discussion as well. The delegation of China proposed its internal actions towards the problem of unequal access to health and the international aid it contributes regarding this same problem. Mental health of sex trafficked victims and women in armed conflicts was also discussed, as not only education but relocation and reintegration of women were pointed out as special factors to consider when discussing about this. The delegation of China made it clear that they believed that accepting refugees is not the objective, and that to return them to their home countries is more important. This helps to protect their culture. 

As three days of intense debate, confrontation and negotiation passed by, the delegates of these committees where fiercely learning, listening and defending their beliefs and stances. To the complexity of the topics discussed, it is imperative to add on the context in which these delegates debated: a post-pandemic world that faces overwhelming violence, a world that faces crisis that none of these delegates have ever seen or lived before. Their exceptional dialogue confirmed the importance of discourse as it exposed how deeply rooted these problems are in our society and the amount of historical baggage women’s struggles carry throughout every crisis.